The Alabama in the Civil War Message Board

Support service occupations

I am studying the support services for the armies on the march to Gettysburg in mid-1863 and preliminary findings indicate from 7 to 15 percent of unit personnel were assigned to non-combat duties. Typically the support services are not included in the fighting (effective) strength of a unit, and are often ignored in battle accounts, yet they constituted a significant portion of an army's overall numbers, and sometimes incurred casualties. Occupations found thus far:

1. Teamster/Wagon Driver/Wagoner/Wagon Master (for company, regiment, brigade, and division trains; medical department vehicles to include ambulances; brigade quartermaster department; ammunition train /// this overall category comprised the largest percentage of detailed men)
2. Butcher/Beef Driver/Cattle Guard (fresh beef supplied "on the hoof")
3. Medical Department (litter bearer, hospital steward, ward master, clerk, nurse, assistant surgeon, surgeon)
4. Courier (regiment, brigade, division, corps, army)
5. Provost Guard/Provost Marshal (regiment, brigade, division, corps, army)
6. Pioneer Corps (brigade, division; implements included picks, shovels, spades, chopping axes)
7. Bridge Corps (term used to denote bridge-building detail)
8. Signal Corps
9. Commissary (commissary guard, commissary sergeant, Captain of Commissary or Subsistence)
10. Quartermaster (quartermaster clerk; specialists such as carpenter)
11. Recruiting Officer
12. Ordnance (division ordnance officer, ordnance sergeant and assistant, clerk, armorer)
13. Cook (company; Colonel's cook)
14. Tailor
15. Shoemaker
16. Druggist
17. Musicians (regiment, brigade bands; drum corps, brass bands - fifer, drummer, kettle drum, bugler, cymbals /// frequently assisted with medical/hospital duties)
18. General Court Martial (generally suspended during active campaigning)
19. Adjutant General (clerk)
20. Guard (regiment, brigade, division, corps)
21. Burial Party (special details formed for this purpose; and/or done by Pioneer Corps)
22. Postal Service (post-boy)

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Support service occupations
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